Passaic Valley Water Commission executive director discusses ways agency is improving water services for residents

The agency is preparing for challenging weather conditions this winter.

Matt Trapani and Emmanuella Pierre

Feb 15, 2024, 10:57 PM

Updated 59 days ago


The executive director of the Passaic Valley Water Commission says the agency is preparing for challenging weather conditions this winter.
James Mueller says the PVWC is taking the necessary precautions to protect its drinking water supply – including changing lead pipes in the county for free.
“There’s about 6,500 lead lines in our inventory for four cities – Paterson, Passaic, Clifton and Prospect Park and we’re in the process of replacing those,” Mueller says.
He says removing lead pipes protects public health.
He also says that as the weather begins to get more intense due to climate changes, the commission is working on multiple things to harden its facilities to stay prepared.
“One is for our reservoirs, the drinking water reservoirs, we’re in the process of covering them and building storage tanks. But until that’s completed, we need to protect those reservoirs from stormwater,” Mueller says. “There’s no stormwater allowed into the reservoirs off roads and whatnot. We want it to go around the reservoir, so we're putting… measures in place to make sure there’s barriers to prevent stormwater to get into the reservoir.”
The executive director says that with a $30 million project, the water commission was able to be provided with four new generators.
“So, our treatment plant over in Totowa, in Little Falls, treats about 80 million gallons a day of water off the Passaic River. We need to make sure that plant runs, and we just commissioned emergency generators that if in the event of a power failure, the emergency generators would kick on. There would be an uninterruptible supply of power to the treatment plant and treatment would be unimpacted,” Mueller said.
He says they will continue to do what’s best for the livelihood of residents.

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